India- US relations

Ambassador Taranjit Sandhu says education is an important pillar of India-US ties

Taranjit Singh Sandhu, India’s ambassador to the United States, said education is a vital foundation of the India-US relationship

After a virtual meeting with the Chancellor of the University of California, Davis, India’s top ambassador in the US stated education is a key foundation of the India-US alliance. The Indian Ambassador to the United States, Taranjit Singh Sandhu, had a good talk this afternoon with Chancellor Gary May and his staff on the huge potential for knowledge and research partnerships in agriculture, health, digital, and climate change. After the meeting with Chancellor May, Sandhu tweeted, “Education is a key cornerstone of India-US collaboration.” Chancellor May is a well-liked educational leader who is passionate about seeing others thrive.

In 2015, he received the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mentoring Students in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math from then-President Barack Obama. He was honoured by the American Association for the Advancement of Science with the prestigious Lifetime Mentor Award in 2021 for displaying remarkable leadership in increasing the involvement of underrepresented groups in science and engineering. The university is in the heart of an area with long-standing ties to the US Sikh population, which includes numerous Punjabi immigrants. California now has half of the Sikh population in the United States.

The university has produced an archive of movies, images, and other records to preserve the tales and history of Punjabi immigrants and to communicate their contributions to the state of California. Chancellor May’s meeting with the ambassador is part of the ambassador’s ongoing outreach to US colleges.

The reasons why students and their parents desire international education, as well as the advantages of studying in a different country, are timeless. The pandemic, like the struggle against it, is a global phenomenon. Knowledge transfer across national borders necessitates scientific skill as well as the ability to lead individuals across cultures, languages, nations, and time zones. Future leaders in all professions must think internationally. Over 200,000 Indian students were sent to the United States to study last year. The other half were graduate students, while the other half were undergraduates or in practical training such as internships and apprenticeships.

This astounding number of Indian students is the second largest in the world; only China sends more students to the United States. In the last six years, the number of Indian students in the United States has more than doubled, a stunning increase. To begin with, the significance of strong political relationships between two of the world’s most powerful democracies is obvious. President Donald Trump and Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s current relationship was on full display earlier this month in Ahmedabad and New Delhi. However, the political ties that bind the two countries go well beyond any people or party memberships.

New York and Silicon Valley, for example, are heavily reliant on Indians educated in the United States, whose expertise is propelling technical innovation, including much-needed biotechnology.

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